Our ears must have been burning in April when we published an editorial about our community's desperate need for corporations and organizations to start investing money into Orpheum Children's Science Museum. 

Turns out, they inked a long term deal with the First Busey Corporation just a day prior to the publication of the article, and the result of that is Busey Astronomy Kids Corner, debuting this Thursday, June 7th at 2:30 p.m. with a grand opening. It is being displayed in partnership with the Mechanical Science & Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Hats off to them for doing right by Orpheum and the community at large. By putting their profits into educational facilities and opportunity for children, we've taken another small step into a future where Champaign-Urbana looks more like it should, for those of us living here, and those who might choose to do so down the line.

Here's a preview video as well: 

Orpheum Children’s Science Museum is located at 346 North Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820

From the press release: 

Houston, we have lift off! The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum (OCSM) is excited to announce the grand opening of the Busey Astronomy Kids Corner sponsored by Busey—advocating for youth and fulfilling dreams since 1868. The new, interactive exhibit space includes the “Asteroid Mine” and “Orphy’s Escape to Space” designed by students in the Senior Capstone Design Program in the Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering (MechSE) at Illinois. In addition, staff and volunteers at the OCSM contributed over 300 hours of labor to refurbish the space and construct the “Lunar Lander!” The public is invited to experience the astronomy-themed exhibits firsthand and to meet the students who designed the exhibits. The OCSM and grand opening will be free to the public from 2:30 - 4:00 PM on Thursday, June 7th, 2018.

“Asteroid Mine” and “Orphy’s Escape to Space” are first-of-its-kind projects for MechSE, where two teams of five undergraduates were given full autonomy to conceive, design, and build the exhibits. Kids can don an astronaut suit and launch a rocket with “Orphy’s Escape to Space.” Next, grab a friend and mine for metals at the “Asteroid Mine” or swing by the moon and play on the “Lunar Lander.” The addition of this new exhibit space will make for a fun, interactive, and educational experience for the whole family.